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August 23, 2010 Monday 4:57 PM EST
NEWS & COMMENTARY; Markets; Financial Stocks
Financial sector swings into the red
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — U.S. financial stocks on Monday closed lower for the third session in a row as worries about a global economic slowdown spilled over into the sector.
The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) slid 0.7% and ranked among the weaker sectors in the S&P 500 Index (SPX) , which also ended in the negative territory. The financials ETF is down 6% so far in August on renewed concerns about the economy.
Except for Regions Financial Corp. (RF) , Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) , and SunTrust Banks (STI) , most regional banks ended the session in red. BB&T Corp. (BBT) fell 2.1% and Zions Bancorp (ZION) closed 1.7% lower.
On Friday, U.S. regulators shuttered eight banks, taking the year-to-date total to 118.
American International Group Inc. (AIG) said its airplane-leasing unit has repaid nearly $4 billion in loans from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. AIG’s shares fell 0.4%.
High-profile financial firms such as Goldman Sachs Group (GS) , Morgan Stanley (MS) , and JP Morgan (JPM) all ended lower while shares of Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and Citigroup (C) ended flat.
Bank of America shares were upgraded to accumulate from hold at Standpoint Research. Fitch Ratings also upgraded its preferred-stock rating on the banking giant to investment grade on Friday, citing the company’s efforts to boost common equity and liquidity and improving asset quality in its various loan portfolios.
Capital One Financial Corp. (COF) , Allstate Corp. (ALL) , and NYSE Euronet (NYX) were among the few that bucked the general trend and closed higher.
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August 24, 2010